Estero Council of Community Leaders
Minutes of the 62nd Monthly Meeting
March 19, 2008
3 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Estero Community Park
The meeting was called to order by Chairman Eslick at 3:00 p.m. at the Estero
Community Park. A quorum was present.
Twenty nine people were present representing seventeen community
organizations and one community wide organization. There was one guest.
Guests were introduced. Two new people representing Rapallo were
Secretary Faie Saunders reported that minutes of prior meetings are available
on the website, www.esterofl.org. A
motion was made to accept the minutes of the February meeting and they were
accepted. All present approved the minutes.
Treasurer Chris Smith reported a balance of $7,954.21 for the ECCL with
income of $800 in dues for this month. A total of $4,200 has been received
in dues for 2008. Expenses were $248 which includes a payment to Papyrus
of $208.75 and $40 for our Post Office box rental. The Thomas Hart law firm has
been holding a balance of $3499.47 in our annexation fund. It was moved
and seconded that we transfer this money to the ECCL working account.
The ECIF earned $3,340.00 in tickets to the Sprit of the Gulf Spring Concert
with a total of $4,459 income for the month. Total expenses were $1,495.34
leaving a balance of $22,143.89. This amount is the balance to go toward
the landscaping for Estero High School and the balance of the Dunn Foundation
A motion was made and seconded to accept the Treasurer’s report and then
approved by all. Those who have not paid their 2008 dues are encouraged to
Estero Community Improvement Foundation
Dan Dronkers reported that the attendance at the Spring Concert was down from
last year. $1,480 goes to the Spirit of the Gulf as the ticket take was
split after the high school charge was paid. The concert netted about
$1,000 for ECIF, not much for all the work put into the project. The
license plate holders are still for sale, 2 for $10 or $6 each. A fashion
show is being planned with Dillards. Jim Ramsburg announced the March 31,
All Play No Work party. Neal Noethlich will be honored as the Village
Visionary for his ten years of work on the ECPP. Bev McNellis listed the
raffle prizes that will be awarded at the party. She encouraged the purchase of
See the agenda for March 19th. The ECCL and the Brooks Concerned
Citizens along with all the several environmental groups have been invited to
attend the Watershed Council roundtable discussion. John Spear will be the
new Bonita Springs City Council representative to the ECCL replacing John Joyce.
In the evening on April 24th the County Charter Review Committee will have a
Public Hearing at the Estero Community Park.
The authority has been going through several changes because of the slowdown
of the economy. Because housing starts and sales are down, so is the
traffic, therefore the need at this time for ten lanes are not as urgent. Collier County has rejected participation in any tolled projects proposed by the
Authority. The bulk of the heavy traffic is between Immokalee Road and the
airport and thus the focus is now on these fourteen miles. The Authority
is considering several alternatives as interim improvements. One such
option is a 7th lane in the center which would be a reversible lane. A
traffic and revenue study will be completed in August which will include all of
the possible alternatives.
The BOCC discussed whether impact fees that the builders pay is making a
negative difference in their decisions to build. Actually, it is the
economy and the downturn in housing that is slowing down the industry. The other
alternative to impact fees is to raise taxes. It was decided that the
Impact Fees will remain as they are at this time. The ECCL Transportation
Committee will meet at the Estero Community Park at 10 a.m. on March 31.
Dave Loveland. Don DeBerry and Harry Campbell of Lee DOT will be present to
discuss all the projects on the ECCL’s list.
Nick Batos reported that this committee met with people from Bonita Springs
and reassured them that nothing we were doing would harm Bonita by creating any
flooding problems. The goal is really to alleviate flooding problems. It
has been suggested that Spring Creek is under-utilized and should be used for
more water flow.
Fire District Consolidation Study
All three of the fire districts have approved going forward with the hiring
of consultants to study the feasibility of consolidation. March 28 they
will advertise for consultants. By May 30 they should have responses. On
June 5 they will screen the consultants and narrow the field to three prospects,
then have a joint meeting on June 17 for the chosen to present their proposals.
On July 8, 10 and 14 the three Fire Boards will vote to choose their consultant.
Health Care Topics
The only topic today is the sign out in front of the
Bonita Health Care site.
Jack Lienesch reported that their new plastic back lit sign has been roundly
criticized by residents. The health care center objects to the
improvements that were suggested and claimed it would cost them $30,000 to bring
the sign into Estero “codes”. They have agreed to turn the sign off at
night, but they are closed at night. Mary Zettel is the county sign
department reviewer who approved this permit and has been resistant to our
suggestions. At this time, the EDRC has not been reviewing signage; it
usually goes directly to the county staff. Tom O’Dea of the EDRC feels
they need to work with the County and get past Mary Zetell’s attitude. He
feels she does not work with Estero and our goals. Rick Johnson Tires has not
submitted to the EDRC nor does his
Broadway Shoppes project comply with the
style of signage which the EDRC wishes to see.
Linda Tanner is a member of this County advisory committee. Dover Kohl
& Partners won the bid with Lee County to study the
DR/GR land and its usage.
The County’s four criteria for the DR/GR are (1) to protect the County’s source
of DR/GR drinking water, (2) to maintain its wetlands and preserve its habitat,
(3) to provide dry season flow and seepage into the estuaries and (4) to serve
as a water resource and preventing over draining. In 1990 the DR/GR measured
96,000 acres and now is down to about 63,000 acres. From now until June 2008,
Dover Kohl is working on these subjects: (1) truck traffic analysis, (2)
environmental analysis, (3) technical planning analysis, (4) formulation of
multiple DR/GR scenarios and (5) presenting selected scenarios to the BOCC.
From March to late 2008, the second phase will be working on surface water and
ground water models. The third phase from July to late 2008 they will zero
in on the most perfected scenarios and formulate Lee Plan and Land Development
Code Amendments and perform other technical analysis as required. On April 16th,
17th and 24th Dover Kohl will hold open meetings to receive public input
involving the DR/GR. All those living on waterways flowing from the DR/GR
should be represented at these meetings.
California conducted an inventory of the state’s aggregate many years ago.
Florida has never conducted such a study. The miners have a lot of this
information, but do not share this information. The State Aggregate Task
Force has recommended to the state that they adopt their consensus
recommendations and not the mining industry’s recommendations that did not
achieve a consensus. 900 people are registered on
www.brooksconcernedcitizens.com and will be given notice, sometimes
only a day, to sign on and send a letter to decision makers regarding important
issues concerning Estero citizens. You can send the enclosed letter and
you may add and/or change the letter with your own ideas.
Senator Bert Saunders has been a great asset to this community on this issue.
He is in his last term in the legislature; he is sensitive to growth management
and the environment. He is leading the charge in the states’ continuing
ability to acquire sensitive land. The Florida Forever program will expire
at the end of 2009-2010. Be on the watch for legislation that Sen. Saunders will
be promoting, we should support it.
Nick Batos and Don Eslick attended a conference with 150 to 200 other
interested citizens which discussed mining impacts to the human and natural
environments. Many counties that have ongoing mining controversies were
Rapallo sent representatives to the ECCL this month. Larry Zeno is the
president of the Rapallo Homeowners Association and encouraged Sheri Slater to
be Rapallo’s ECCL member and Mark Wood as the alternate member. A motion
to approve their nomination was made and seconded and approved by all. Rapallo
has expressed an interest in networking with other communities regarding issues
and problems. Tom O’Dea will fill in for Neal Noethlich on the ECPP
through June 2008 so that Neal can take a short leave of absence. A motion
was made and seconded for this appointment.
Absentee Voters Registration
You may register for an absentee ballot at
www.leeelections.com/absballot.pdf. Many voters will be away for the
August primary. Three of five of the BOCC commissioners will be ELECTED at
that time. As in the past ECCL will not promote any candidates, but asks
the individual leaders to be aware of who on the BOCC has supported the needs of
the Estero community and promote them with their friends and community.
Country Creek Annual Meeting
Part of their annual meeting will have guests, Don Eslick, The Conservancy
and three BOCC members, Commissioners Janes, Mann and Judah. The public is
invited. Come about 7:10 p.m. (after their business meeting)
The next meeting will be April 18th from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 p.m. at the
Estero Community Park.
The meeting was adjourned.